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Japanese emperor thanks Taiwan for disaster aid

2012/04/19 19:45:26

Tokyo, April 19 (CNA) Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko thanked Taiwan Thursday for its assistance following a massive earthquake and tsunami that battered Japan last year.

According to a report aired on Nippon Television, Akihito and his wife expressed Japan's gratitude in person to Taiwan's representative to Japan, John Feng, who was invited to attend an imperial spring garden party with his wife.

Japan was struck March 11, 2011 by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunamis that killed more than 15,000 people, left over 3,000 missing and caused a series of nuclear accidents.

In the aftermath of the disaster, Taiwan donated about 20 billion Japanese yen (US$245.40 million) in cash, 90 percent of which came from private donors.

The party, hosted by the emperor and empress annually at the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Tokyo, was attended by 2,500 dignitaries and foreign envoys this year.

Yoshihiro Murai, governor of Miyagi Prefecture -- which was seriously damaged during the disaster, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko were among the guests.

(By Tsao Heng and Hanna Liu)